Gahanna Votes To Decide On Tax Increase
Those who live and work in Gahanna could be paying more in taxes, depending on the outcome of Tuesday's election.
Voters are being asked to approve an income tax increase to help maintain city services.
But supporters say not everyone will pay more.
If passed, it would raise Gahanna's income tax rate from 1.5 to 2.5 percent.
It would impact those who live in Gahanna, as well as those who work there.
For those who live in Gahanna but work in another city and have to pay income tax in both, Gahanna currently offers a tax credit of 83.3 percent.
If Issue 17 passes, that credit will jump to 100 percent.
"People who live in Gahanna and work elsewhere will definitely see a reduction in their local income taxes," said Lee Bailey with Citizens for a Strong Gahanna, a group supporting the issue.
"It goes to general city obligations: senior Center, police department, parks and recreation," said Bailey.
He says the increase is necessary to maintain the quality of life Gahanna prides itself on, funding trail improvements, replacing the city's pool, and keeping its Senior Center open.
"Gahanna is a strong community," Bailey said. "We want to keep it strong. We don't want to be a city that only does the basics."
The city says if Issue 17 fails, there will be cut to parks and street improvements, and the pool and senior center will be closed.
"There is no way that City Council is going to close that Senior Center," said Alicia Holloway. "They just won't do it."
Holloway represents a group called Restore Gahanna.
They oppose Issue 17, and call the city's threats "scare tactics".
They also question the budget outlook prepared by the city.
"They have not shown any increases in revenue over the next 5 years, which is not even conceivable," said Holloway. "Secondly, we don't think they've done the hard work of looking at efficiencies."
Holloway stresses they're not anti-tax; they're anti-this tax.
"There are different ways to go about this," she said.
Supporters say their pitch is simple. "If you live here, you like it," said Bailey. "Let's keep it the way it is."
With the change in the tax credit, the city of Gahanna says if the increase passes, about 56 percent of Gahanna residents will actually see their income taxes decrease or stay the same.